RIYADH — Riyadh's King Fahd Cultural Center premiered "Zarqa Al Yamama," the first Saudi opera, marking a significant cultural milestone.

This major Arab cultural event, produced by the Theatre and Performing Arts Commission, will offer 10 performances from April 25 to May 4, 2024.

The opera draws on a famed pre-Islamic Arabian tale, portraying Zarqa Al Yamama, a woman with the ability to foresee threats days in advance, which she uses to protect her tribe from imminent danger.

The event features a blend of local and international talents including Saudi poet Saleh Zamanan, who wrote the libretto, and performers Khairan Al Zahrani, Sawsan Al Bahiti, and Rimaz Aqbi. The international cast includes Sarah Connolly, Alexander Stefanovski, and others, under the direction of Ivan Fukšević with musical direction by Pablo Gonzalez.

This inaugural Saudi opera not only showcases Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage but also highlights its burgeoning arts scene, aiming to elevate its cultural footprint on the international stage.

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